Hill takes the lead
For races 10, 11 and 12 of the Volvo Laser SB3 World Championships, the Gold Fleet moved to the winder Bravo Course underneath the Riva cliffs. With increased wind strengths of 20 knots, the Gold Fleet were in for some spectacular racing. With points separation tight at the top of the fleet, everyone left the dock looking for some success.
Consistency is often the key factor in Laser SB3 racing. Jerry Hill, Craig Burlton and John Pollard are testament to this. Each team carries some hefty discard results, but at present these three boats lead the gold fleet. Jerry Hill, Joe Llewellyn and Grant Rollerson currently hold a four point lead over Burlton and a 14 point lead over Pollard. Consistency for Hill will be key for the two final races of the Championship.
Both South African entries to the event lie in the top 10 leading into the final day of racing. Ian Ainslie, Roger Hudson and Adam Martin (RSA) on City of Cape Town lie fifth overall and David Hudson, David Rae, Marlon Jones and Roscoe Cupido (RSA) enjoyed a better day today onboard Spirit of Cape Town leaving them in 10th position. “We managed a repeat performance today of our results on the first day of racing, a first a second! Our tactics have been to take a mid line starts, gaining us clear air which seems to have benefitted us today. We’ve been the first boat onto port, and although we’ve had to duck a few boats on our way to the cliffs, it seems to have worked,” explained helm David Hudson. “Our crew had been working really hard. It is the first time that Roscoe has sailed a Laser SB3 which has been a great learning experience for him, he’s a regular Mirror sailor and will hopefully take his experience from this event to the Mirror World Championships.”
Rodion Luka, Oleg Zherebtsov, Maria Rudskaja and Alexander Lebedev had a difficult day today. After rounding the windward mark first in the final race of the day, they dropped to third position. Luka described his day: “We are really enjoying the Laser SB3, but we know that we have a lot to learn. Small things make a huge difference in this boat, especially in this wind. It’s great practice for us and we hope to have improved a lot more for the Worlds in 2011.”
Vincenzo Graciotti had another great day in the Silver Fleet posting a 1, 1, 1. When asked as he came ashore if he’d had a good day he answered, “even better than yesterday!”
Ukrainian team, Transbunker, crewed by Valeri Polovoy, Valentin Klymentyer and Valdimir Stasiyk are showing their metal in the finals races of the silver fleet, scoring 4, 2, 4, 3, 2, 4. Having travelled for 4 days from the Ukraine the team are enjoying their sailing on Lake Garda, “We think the event is great, we are enjoying sailing in a big fleet but we didn’t expect so much wind, it’s not very common on the Black Sea.”
Tomorrow sees the final 2 races of the 2010 Volvo Laser SB3 World Championships. All eyes will be on the three leading GRB boats in the Gold Fleet.